COVID-19 Vaccination in Manipur: Only 1,783 healthcare workers received vaccine in first week
The COVID-19 vaccination programme has been conducted only in 11 health centres of the state (including one private hospital) so far.
The Manipur government has identified 39,991 of the 41,000 frontline and healthcare workers to be vaccinated, and nearly 10,000 of them as first beneficiaries in the first phase of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive that was launched in Manipur on January 16. However, in the first week of the vaccination programme, only 1,783 frontline health workers in the state have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to the reports of the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare.
Earlier, the directorate of Health Services had selected 246 health centres in the state for COVID-19 vaccination programme following the guidelines of the Health Ministry. And the programme was launched across 10 centres in the state on day one. However, the COVID-19 vaccination programme has been conducted only in 11 health centres of the state (including one private hospital) so far.
When asked about the low number of COVID-19 vaccine beneficiaries till date, National Health Mission-Manipur director Dr N Shyamjai said, “Majority of the frontline healthcare workers who have submitted their bio-data are in their reproductive ages, hence the turnout of the vaccinated persons was low”.
The COVID-19 vaccination programme is conducted only four days a week, in such a way that it does not affect the normal services of the medical centres such as other routine immunisation, he said, responding to media queries on Friday in the weekly briefing on COVID-19 situation in Manipur held in Imphal.
Asserting that the majority of the public, including healthcare workers are reluctant to get vaccinated, he said that there is a need for mass awareness regarding the vaccination programme.
A high-state level meeting of health professionals will be conducted on Saturday to discuss expanding of COVID-19 vaccination centres in border areas and to make the public aware that vaccination is totally safe, Dr Shyamjai added.
The vaccine experience
According to health officials, only a few health professionals who took the vaccine experienced mild side effects like mild fever, itchiness, swollen skin and others. However, they are in stable health condition now, they said.
Sharing his experience in getting the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, medical superintendent of Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) Dr Kh Lokeshwar said, “I got a feverish feeling on the night of taking the vaccine but the next morning I was totally okay.”
“Getting a mild fever, swelling or pain after taking any vaccine is a common symptom. It is normal,” he added.
Lokeshwar said, “The vaccine has been scientifically proved successful so I took the first dose of vaccine to create awareness among the public about the safety of the vaccine”.
As the vaccination programme is in progress, Health director K Rajo appealed to the public to continue following the COVID appropriate behaviour such as wearing a proper face mask, maintaining six feet distance and frequent washing of hand with soap and water or cleaning of hands with sanitiser.
Stating that the vaccine is totally safe, the medical superintendent further appealed to the public to get the COVID vaccination in the effort to stop the pandemic in the state.
On the day of the launch of the vaccine programme, several health professionals in the state who took the vaccine vouched for its safety and had urged the public to get vaccinated.